With the sheer pace of change and introduction of new devices and apps, it’s hard to deny that a lot has changed at the office. And it’s not just the technology—from the way we work to how we actually find our jobs, navigating the workplace is now a whole different ballgame.
New game, new rules
If there’s a new game plan for careers now, then someone should write a new playbook.
This is precisely what Alexandra Cavoulacos and Kathryn Minshew were thinking when they founded TheMuse.com, a career website that’s especially popular among millennials.
The site provides curated job postings and an inside look at companies, with video profiles giving applicants a sense of what it would be like to work there before they even apply. But The Muse goes beyond the transactional nature of a simple job search by creating a community for career building. As the co-founders note, the job search process only makes up one stage in your broader career. With career coaching services, skill-building videos, and content offering expert advice, The Muse hopes to engage users not only when they are looking for a job, but also when they already have one.
After growing their site to more than 50 million users, they’ve now expanded their efforts by publishing an actual career (play)book, The New Rules of Work: The Modern Playbook for Navigating Your Career. Their new book argues that the seismic shift in the way we work means traditional advice on landing jobs and building careers no longer applies. Instead, there are “New Rules” for building your dream career—and they’ve set out to put together the resources you need.
Their “New Rules” philosophy centers around the idea that now more than ever, individuals are in control and need to take charge of their careers. Alexandra and Kathyrn’s book provides practical tools and tangible ways for how to actually do that by including quick exercises and handy checklists along with their insights. Inspired by their approach, we created a set of templates based on resources in the book that will help you to organize and focus your career journey right in Evernote. Read on to learn more about these “New Rules” for work and get our templates.
Blend, not balance: aligning your passion with your work
“The last twenty years have seen a massive shift both in terms of what work means to us, and in what it demands from us,” Alexandra and Kathryn said. In other words, the boundaries between “working” and “not working” are getting more blurry by the day. Our always-on, always-available culture means that workers are finding that the aspiration of “work-life balance” is increasingly turning into the reality of “work-life blend.”
This trend has important implications for careers. When work bleeds over into everyday lives, it becomes more critical that what we are working on is fulfilling and inspiring. If you’re going to be working into the night or answering emails right when you wake up, it helps to love what you do.
Templates for finding a meaningful career
Use these Evernote templates to commit to your goals, understand your values, and set an intention for the rest of your career.
A Success Contract With Yourself— Stay accountable to yourself and what you’re trying to accomplish by writing it down and committing.
Self-Evaluation: Your Career Values—Gaining a clear understanding of what kind of job will be fulfilling is crucial. Evaluate and reflect on where you’re at with this worksheet.
Discovery, not search: managing the hunt
But finding meaning in our work isn’t the only challenge. The task of finding a job has changed as well. Gone are the days when your career trajectory was clearly laid out in front of you. Career paths are now custom-crafted, not blindly followed. But while a whole world of possibilities is exciting, it certainly adds complexity to the traditional job hunt.
As Alexandra and Kathryn note, in today’s world, “the professional aspirations of most people don’t fit cleanly in a search bar.” In essence, the very way we look for jobs is changing from job search to job discovery. We’re no longer simply searching for openings. Now, building a brand, networking, and seeking expert advice for crafting applications and acing interviews is just par for the course.
Templates for career exploration and job applications
Use these templates to explore careers, manage your job search, and excel at your interviews.
Functions & Industries to Consider—What jobs are out there? Use this list of functions and industries to get the ball rolling on your brainstorming. Check off your areas of interest and then use the grid template below.
The Muse Grid for Career Exploration— Figuring out what you want to do can be tough. The Muse has created a helpful framework for exploring career options by industry and by function.
Job Application Tracking Worksheet—When you’re applying for a lot of jobs at once, things can get out of hand. Keep track of all your applications with this useful worksheet.
Pre-Interview Cheat Sheet—Before an interview, you’ve got to do your homework. Keep all the things you need to nail it in one place.
In-Person Interview Checklist—On-site interviews can be nerve-racking. Use this checklist to make sure you’re prepared for anything.
Keep moving: advancing the ball
Even once you’ve discovered your calling and gotten your foot in the door, the game is far from over. You have to succeed at your current gig and keep an eye on what’s next.
Succeeding on the job in today’s world isn’t just about being functionally excellent. Communication, interpersonal skills, and productivity are becoming more important than ever. Teams are becoming more virtual, and new technologies are taking over, creating more opportunities for miscommunication and intent gone awry. And in an always-on world, it can sometimes feel like we should always be working. Maintaining productivity and making the most of our time is another challenge in this new world.
Then, there’s the matter of figuring out how to get to the next level. As Alexandra and Kathryn put it, you aren’t climbing a predetermined ladder, you’re building your own path. In today’s new world, your career is what you make it—how you chart your course is up to you. This means you are in charge of improving your skills and making the next moves. No one is going to advance your career for you.
Templates for career management
These templates use the New Rules approach for staying productive and improving your skills.
The Famous 1-3-5 To-Do List—Want to get more done? Managing your to-do list is key. Try breaking it down by focusing on 1 big thing, 3 medium things, and 5 little things you can do today.
“Job Skills I Need” Tracker—Keep a running list of the skills you want or need to acquire in order to step it up.
Job Skills Priority List— Looking to improve your skills? Figure out your priorities by identifying which skills can immediately impact your current job and which skills you need for the next level.
If you’ve never used Evernote templates before, you’ll find them simple and handy. Check out this how-to and see our definitive guide to templates to learn even more about how to use them, and where to find them.